You see that guy
over in the next cubicle trying to drink coffee, answer the phone, and
read his e-mail? Well, he's multitasking, or doing several operations
at the same time. Windows does this too, although it usually doesn't
dump the afore mentioned coffee in its lap when the boss walks by.
rotates CPU time between programs when it mulitasks. One program gets
some CPU time, then another, until all your little programs have finished
what they're doing. (You would need multiple CPUs to actually have the
computer do two things simultaneously. This is called multiprocessing)
Anyhow, there are
basically two types of multitasking, preemptive and cooperative. Here's
the scoop on how they work:
operating system controls the multitasking and determines how much time
each program gets to spend with the CPU. Used with Win
programs themselves control CPU time. Typically a program will use the
CPU for as long as it needs it then turn control back over to the other
programs. Used with Win 3.x.
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